NAOMI CHARGED WITH ASSAULT

NEW YORK (AP)- Naomi Campbell was charged with second-degree assault Thursday after allegedly bashing her housekeeper in the head with a phone in an altercation at her Park Avenue apartment, police said.The 35-year-old British-born supermodel was taken into custody shortly after police went to Lenox Hill Hospital to investigate the reported assault, police said.

According to police, Campbell's 41-year-old housekeeper received four stitches to the head. When investigating officers arrived at the hospital, the alleged victim, who wasn't identified, said Campbell had attacked her, police said. Campbell, wearing a white poncho and a black baseball cap, left a Manhattan police station later in the day as scores of photographers, reporters and film crews gathered to record her exit.

Campbell ducked into an unmarked car. Authorities were taking her to Criminal Court for processing. In a statement, a Campbell spokesman said the supermodel wasn't responsible for any assault. "We believe this is a case of retaliation, because Naomi had fired her housekeeper earlier this morning," said the statement from J.R. Johnson. "We are confident the courts will see it the same way."

In 2003, she was sued by a former administrative assistant who alleged that Campbell had thrown a phone at her during a tantrum two years earlier. In August 2004, Campbell and her maid reportedly battled it out, with the worker claimed the supermodel had slapped her across the face. Campbell accused Millicent Burton of instigating the fight. Campbell pleaded guilty in Toronto to an assault charge for beating another assistant while making a film in Canada in 1998. She has also battled a cocaine addiction.

© 2006 The Associated Press

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